The Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, led by Dr. Joseph S. Coselli, builds on the rich legacy of surgical innovators — Drs. Michael E. DeBakey, Denton A. Cooley, E. Stanley Crawford, and George P. Noon among others — who originated many of the 20th century’s ground-breaking aortic and cardiac surgical procedures. Today, Dr. Coselli, credited with nearly 10,000 aortic repairs, including over 3,500 of the thoracoabdominal aorta, leads a world-renowned team of over 15 surgeons and researchers innovating strategies for the evaluation and treatment of diseases of the aorta and cardiovascular system.
Our three-year cardiothoracic surgery residency program, accepting four residents per year, is the largest in the United States. Buoyed by a new general thoracic track program, the application pool for our residency program under the direction of Dr. Coselli and Dr. Ravi K. Ghanta, has been the strongest in recent memory.
The cardiac surgery research team pursues several research projects and maintains one of the world’s most extensive and well-cataloged aortic tissue banks. This core resource facilitates investigations into the causes and progression of aortic disease pursued by our researchers, as well as researchers from other academic institutions.
A growing portfolio of clinical and translational research efforts in the division, led by NIH-funded Vice-Chair for Research Dr. Scott A. LeMaire, includes more than 20 clinical studies in areas ranging from the genetics and molecular biology of aortic disease to applications of new heart valves and aortic grafts. Laboratory studies also include the NIH-funded investigations of department chair Dr. Todd K. Rosengart, whose research group is developing a means to use cellular reprogramming to convert cardiac scar tissue into new heart muscle.
Dr. Joseph Coselli and his team at Baylor College of Medicine and the Texas Heart Institute have pioneered new approaches to treat aortic disease, including novel percutaneous endovascular repair procedures utilized at Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center to treat high-risk patients.
At the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, our surgeons perform over 300 open-heart surgeries and more than 100 lung and esophageal procedures annually, making it the busiest VA cardiac center in the United States. The MEDVAMC offers many unique surgical possibilities for cardiac surgery patients, including one of the few percutaneous valve options in the VA system.
At Ben Taub Hospital, thoracic and trauma surgeon Kenneth L. Mattox, M.D., chief of staff, and Matthew J. Wall, Jr., M.D., deputy chief of surgery and chief of cardiothoracic surgery, lead one of the busiest cardiac surgery programs at a municipal hospital in the nation. The surgical volume has doubled over the past four years at Ben Taub, and acute coronary syndrome treatment outcomes have topped national standards.